Author: Lindsay Huettman
Part 2 – Creating Intentions as a Lifelong Practice
Goals vs. Intentions
First of all, what are intentions? May people have a variety of ways of how to frame what intentions are. Some definitions include words like ‘goals’, ‘aspirations’ and ‘vision for the future’. I was personally introduced to setting intentions in my learning community at Wilderness Awareness School. We set intentions at the beginning of every meeting, program and conversation. This was held powerfully, in a ceremonial way, to help create an energy that pulled us forward into fulfilling our intention. It was witnessed by others creating their own paths and vise versa. Creating intentions is powerful. If you wish to change something or ask for something new to show up in your life, create intentions not goals. Goals are great! But energetically lack the unique combination of inspiration and groundedness that intentions embody. Intentions have grit as well as wings.
Here are some tips on ways to help you start:
Frame what you WANT, not what you DON’T want
people often start with what they don’t want“I don’t want to worry about my kids”
INSTEAD TRY: “I would like to set an intention to support myself and my kids in living healthy, vibrant lives”
Share this with others
Things stick when we share them. You can even ask someone you love to help you hold this intention by checking in now and then on how it’s going (more later this).
It’s Okay to Go BIG and STAY home
You may feel that your intention sounds too lofty or setting you up for failure. Intentions are just that; what you intend to do. They set the energetic stage for what you are asking to shift or come into your life. I think my most powerful intentions operate through my everyday life. I don’t have to leave my house, my job or make huge changes to accomplish many of them either. They may be as big as living the fullest life I can, to not getting angry every time I do the dishes. Scale is not the issue-it’s the depth of which it comes from within me that makes the difference. Sometimes part of living a full life means not being unhappy every time I pick up a sponge.
Make a timeframe to check in
I like to create a structure around my intentions to ask, “How am I doing?”. I highly recommend sharing your intentions with others. This can be a therapist, friend, mentor or community that can witness you and your journey with care. When you check in about your intention, make sure to add honesty AND compassion when you are looking. You can frame your intention any time period that feels reasonable. Some of my intentions are lifetime aspirations. I still check in and how these are progressing throughout my lifetime. Some are for the next three months. I strongly recommend not to forget this step. It will embed the intention process into the culture and calendar of your mind. Some helpful questions for this might be:
- How am I doing with this intention
- Where would I like to make more effort? Less?
- How do others think I have been doing with my intention? (Ask them!)
When you try this process out, you may notice a tendency to slip back into old patterns. This is natural. You can post your intentions on your bathroom mirror, on the fridge or on a altar. You can save them as a background picture on your computer or create into a vision board. However you choose to keep these in your present awareness, try to look them if not daily then weekly. Good luck and let me know how this works for you!